Choreography by Marius Petipa and featuring the 19th century ballet performed in 1982 to mark the company's bicentenary year. Three of the Kirov's finest dancers head the cast of this recording. Irina Kolpakova takes the title role of Princess Aurora Sergei Berezhnoi dances Prince Desire and Lubov Kunakova is the Lilac Fairy
A performance of the Edouard Marie Ernest Delvedez and Ludwig Minkus ballet with the original choreography recreated by Pierre Lacotte.
Faure / Stravinsky /Tchaikovsky: Jewels Joyaux
The Glory of the Kirov assembles footage from a variety of Russian sources--some of it, including moments from the early careers of famous defectors such as Nureyev and Baryshnikov, was previously suppressed and thought lost. The Kirov Ballet and Opera of St. Petersburg, and their earlier incarnation as the Maryinsky, have always been the Bolshoi's principal Russian rival and an impressive nursery of talent. This profile includes silent footage of the Ballet Russe's Tamara Karsavina doing her barre exercises as well as a classic extract from Ulanova's White Swan pas de deux in the 1940s. The 1960s are heavily represented here with extracts from Glazunov's Raymonda and Khatchaturian's Spartacus as well as even more famous repertory such as Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and Petipa's choreography for Le Corsaire. There are also two versions of Fokine's Dying Swan, one from Olga Moiseyeva and a performance from Makarova whose sublimity almost makes us forget the tasteless arrangement of the Saint-Saens score for strings and Hollywood choir. This disc encapsulates the greatness of Russian ballet in its Soviet period as well as some of its lapses of taste. --Roz Kaveney
George Balanchine is regarded as one of ballet's greatest choregraphers and one of the great artists of the 20th Century. He had a huge impact on the cultural history of New York City. This DVD is the first half of a two disc set featuring Balanchine's best known works performed by New York City Ballet and released as part of this year's George Balanchine Cenetenary Celebrations. Features: Chaconne / Prodigal Son / Ballo della Regina / Steadfast Tin Soldier / Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux
A performance of the Uwe Scholz ballet by the Leipzig Ballet company.
The athletic grace and beauty of the ballet tells the delusional story of Don Quixote on this extraordinary DVD. Starring Nadzedah Pavlova Music by Minkus Choreography adapted by Victor Smirnov-Golovanov based on the original by Petipa.
Sir Kenneth MacMillan's glorious version of The Prince of The Pagodas provides a fascinating and magnificent spectacle of classical dance on the grandest scale. Benjamin Britain's exotic score inspired by the sounds of the gamelan is the only one that he created for ballet. The oriental theme is followed through with Nicholas Georgiadis' enchanting designs enhancing the fairytale atmosphere. This production by the Royal Ballet filmed at Covent Garden in 1990 stars Darcey Bussell in dazzling form as Princess Rose and Jonathan Cope as the Prince. This is the role that launched Bussell's career. MacMillan had noted her exceptional talent while she was still a student and he chose her to create the role of Princess Rose for him.
The Glory of the Bolshoi is a feature-length anthology of rare archive films showcasing the Bolshoi Ballet's greatest dancers and some very fine performances. Spanning almost a century, there are 19 selections, either complete dances or extracts. There is no commentary or documentary content, simply a succession of great ballet. Everything here is a highlight, from a pas de deux by Ekaterina Geltzer and Vasili Tikhomirov to music by Schubert which dates, extraordinarily, from 1913, through to a series of chapters showing the development of Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev, including their debut together at the age of 13. At 20 minutes the longest sequence is also different to anything else on the DVD, offering the opportunity to contrast two performances of Khachaturian's Spartacus, from 1968 with Vasiliev, and from 1984 with Natalia Bessmertnova as Phrygia. Apart from this sequence a chronological presentation of the material would surely have made more sense than the apparently random order of much of the disc, but otherwise this is a superb compilation of great historic value. A companion title, The Glory of the Kirov is also available. On the DVD: The Glory of the Bolshoi plays for 90 minutes, with almost exactly half the material in colour. While inevitably of variable quality, the 4:3 ratio picture is overall of a very high standard. The sound varies between mono and stereo and, apart from unavoidable patches of distortion, is more than acceptable. There is a Web link and booklet notes, but no special features--a disappointment on an excellent programme crying out for a commentary track to place everything in context. --Gary S. Dalkin
Just two years before she died in 1991, Margot Fonteyn finally allowed a documentary to be made about her life and legendary career as the most romantic prima ballerina of all. Fortunately, the task fell to Patricia Foy. Together with her later appreciation of Rudolf Nureyev, this study offers an invaluable insight into the two dominant and most widely popular dancers of the 20th century. Fonteyn talks directly to camera, with disarming simplicity, about a professional career which endured for more than 40 remarkable years. Reminiscences of a childhood and youth in which she entertained ideas of being a tap dancer (it took Ninette de Valois to spot her unique talent) give way to archive footage of famous performances and interviews with key collaborators including Frederick Ashton and Robert Helpmann. Fascinating home movies give a brief glimpse of a hard-working but jet-set lifestyle which included sailing on Onassis' yacht with Maria Callas. But Fonteyn was that rarest of beings: a genuine celebrity who didn't appreciate her own authentic claim to greatness for many years. The understated way in which she discusses her marriage to Panamanian diplomat Roberto de Arias, her arrest and deportation during his unsuccessful attempt at a coup and later, the paralysing effect of a gunshot wound which would leave him a permanent invalid in her constant care, is deeply moving. Ultimately though, there is the dancing, and that partnership with Nureyev. Fonteyn was 42 when they first joined forces and she was anxious not to appear as "mutton dancing with lamb". How ironic. The erotic charge which they generated is still palpable in extended excerpts from Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake. Essential viewing for balletomanes of every age. On the DVD: Apart from a trailer for other Arthaus releases, there are no special features. The mono sound does the musical extracts no favours, but it's the interviews that make this an archivist's treat. Well-produced, with the customary detailed booklet. --Piers Ford
Charles Dickens' immortal tale here revels in a delightful adaptation for dance drama in three acts by Christopher Gable distinguished choreographer actor and former Royal Ballet star who died in 1998. The work is laced with Carl Davis' sparkling Christmas music which also requires the dancers to sing at various points. The featured company is the renowned Northern Ballet Theatre who here dance with infectious ebullience and vivacity.
Opera named Der Vogelhandler by Carl Zeller.
This special studio recording of David Bintley's three act ballet is an enchanting portrayal of life in a northern English town at the turn of the 19th century. It is based on Harold Brighouse's much-loved play of the same name.
George Balanchine's Jewels performed by Opera national de Paris and directed by Gerard Mortier.
Moon Water' as performed by the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan; choreographed by Lin Hwaimin. The dancers perform with water and the sound of water accompanies selected Bach compositions.
Essential Ballet - The Kirov
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